The Book Thief Death and Chocolate - The Jesse Owens Incident Summary

The narrator of The Book Thief is Death. He explained how he tried to do his job in a cheerful manner. His way of distracting himself from the sadness felt by the survivors of those he takes, was to use color. He focused on the colors of the Earth; his personal favorite is the dark chocolate color of the sky. He explained this story was about "a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery."

The first color Death used was white, to distract him from the grief of a mother and her daughter. Death had made a mistake by becoming interested in the little girl. Now he had taken the soul of a little boy, the son and brother of the woman and girl. They were riding in a train when Death became interested in the little girl, who was the book thief. The guards on the train didn't know what to do with the little family, when it was faced with this sudden tragedy.

The next color was black, as he swooped in to take the soul of an airman, whose plane had just crashed. A small boy and the book thief, who was years older now, were the first to find the pilot. The boy put a teddy bear on the pilot's chest and then Death took the airman's soul.

Death saw an eclipse as he took the soul away, it was a way for the world to realize it had lost another citizen. Death had seen millions of these eclipses and he didn't like to see them.

The last time Death saw the book thief the sky was red. The planes had bombed the streets and she was left among the carnage holding her book, which was her most prized possession. Death wanted to comfort her, but he was not allowed to touch her.

She dropped her book and it was swept up into a garbage truck, but Death rescued it. He looked at it many times, over the years, as he kept track of the book thief. He watched her whenever their paths crossed and marveled at her ability to survive. He always thought of the colors red, white, and black, whenever he thought of her.

Death goes on to explain in detail the story of the book thief-Liesel Meminger. Liesel and her brother Werner were being taken, by their mother, to Munich. She was going to turn them over to foster parents, so they could have a better life, than what she would be able to give them.

Werner was buried in an unknown town with his mother and sister, along with the two grave diggers, in attendance. The young apprentice grave digger dropped his book and Liesel took it. This was the first book she stole; it was a guide to being a grave digger.

She was turned over to Hans and Rosa Hubermann, who lived in the town of Molching on Himmel Street. Hans seemed kind, but Rosa was an angry woman.

We learn that Liesel's father was a communist, which caused problems for her mother, because others did not want to be associated with a communist. Liesel and her brother were being given up to foster parents, because their mother was ill and couldn't take care of them.

Rosa Humbermann was an ill-tempered woman who called Liesel Saumensch, which means female pig. She called everyone a pig and an arschloch which is an "asshole". She for all her crude ways did love Liesel.

Hans Hubermann was a gentle man, who was a painter by trade and made extra money by playing the accordion. He was kind to Liesel and made her feel safe. After a few months, Rosa told Liesel to call her Mama and Hans Papa.

Liesel constantly had nightmares about her brother and Hans would come into her room to calm her down. He would also play the accordion for her in the morning.

She was sent to school, which went badly, because she was nine-years-old and didn't know how to read. The school placed her with the young children, so she could learn to read, which was embarrassing to her, but she did try to read.

Rosa spent her time complaining about everything, especially the people who employed her to do their washing. Rosa also had a feud going with Frau Holtzapfel, who would spit on the Hubernann's door every time she walked by.

Liesel became friends with Rudy Steiner, the boy next door, after he threw a snowball at her. Rudy told her who to stay away from in the neighborhood and who to trust. He also was her partner in crime, such as the day they raced on the track and both became muddy from the wet track. Rudy wanted to kiss Liesel if he won the race, but Liesel was determined to never kiss him.

Rudy was obsessed with Jesse Owens, who he saw win gold medals in the 1936 Olympics. Rudy didn't understand that Jesse Owens represented everything Hitler and the Nazi Party were against.

One night Rudy covered himself in charcoal and ran around the local track in an imaginary race, pretending he was Jesse Owens. His father caught him and explained that since his father was a member of the Nazi Party, Rudy couldn't do such things. His father tried to explain to Rudy about the Nazi Party and their attitudes towards black people and Jews. Rudy tried to understand, but it took years before he truly understood, what his father was trying to tell him that night.

Death narrates this story of a young girl, whose life is turned upside down by the death of her brother, and her mother leaving her in the care of foster parents. Liesel Meminger steals a book at her brother's grave site. This is how she became the book thief.

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